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Community - Partner Event

WaiTALK: Inside Look at Career Journeys in Applied AI

April 14, 2021 - April 14, 2021
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM MDT


Second in the two part series to share career highlights and challenges from a personal perspective of a career in Applied AI.

About this Event

Join Women in AI Canada Edmonton and Calgary chapters for a two part series of WaiTALK, organized in association with Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii). Through these sessions, you can learn about the peaks and valleys, aspirations and inspirations of successful women in AI.

Part 2, scheduled on April 14th at 12:00 MT, is hosted by Calgary chapter and features successful women in Applied AI.

Part 1 is hosted by Edmonton chapter and features three accomplished women in AI Research.

You don't want to miss both of these sessions as you plot your own career journey!


Ashley Casovan, Executive Director at AI Global

Ashley has been at the forefront of building tools and policy interventions to support the responsible use and adoption of innovative technologies, both with her work at the Government of Canada, and as the Executive Director of AI Global, a multi-stakeholder non-profit dedicated to mitigating harm and unintended consequences of AI systems. As a recognized leader in the social tech community she has developed a strong reputation for developing workable governance for data, artificial intelligence, and open source tools. Her work and ability to bring experts together to solve important challenges has led to meaningful change in government and beyond.

Jessica Kaczmer, Senior Manager at Omnia, Deloitte's Artificial Intelligence Practice

Jessica has extensive experience in the North American Energy and Resources sector, guiding clients on how to leverage Advanced Analytics and Artificial Intelligence systems and applications to drive business transformation.

With a background in project management (including Agile methodology), strategic business intelligence, and technology-focused organizational change management Jessica believes her strongest assets include her capacity to rapidly build relationships, assess informational needs, map processes, and communicate technical concepts in a way that drives organizational buy-in to leverage advanced IT solutions. In particular, Jessica has deep expertise in assessing how an organization can capture their vast data assets and translate the data into meaningful insights that can ultimately be leveraged to drive decisions and solve complex problems.

Jil MacDonald, Managing Director & Regional Director Services, Western Canada at AltaML

Jil is Managing Director of the Calgary office including our large talent ecosystem the Applied AI Lab, she also serves as Western Regional Director of AI Services working with business leaders to accelerate adoption of applied AI. Jil is dedicated to building and transforming teams to maximize operational impact and to embrace change. She leverages 15+ years of continuous process improvement experience to enhance efficiency and deliver sustainable capital reductions. Jil’s experience includes leading large digital, operational, and technical teams within her former Vice President roles within the Alberta Energy Regulator and Management at Ernst & Young. She has led several transformational efforts to establish internal advanced analytics teams leveraging AI as the catalyst to allow for science & evidence based information to drive, augment and automate decisions across several sectors. Jil holds a Bachelors of Science in Geophysics, a Masters of Business Administration, as well as Lean Six Sigma Green & Black Belts. Jil sits on several boards from Alberta Health Services & Cancer Care Alberta Patient Advisory Services, to Elderly Care and Calgary Based Communities. She has been the recipient of Top 40 Under 40, and Young Women in Energy Awards for her leadership and community based work.

Tania Hoque, Senior Manager, Artificial Intelligence at WestJet

Tania Hoque is currently a Senior Manager, Artificial Intelligence at WestJet. She has over 12 years of experience in the digital arena championing the changing digital world across industries. She was responsible for bringing in AI to WestJet in the form of a conversational bot, and various other AI projects that studied consumer behavior to make predictions and recommendations. The field of AI is particularly fascinating for her, as it seems to be an untapped area with a lot of assumptions and unknowns. She has also established new ways of problem solving, by driving an organizational change in mindset.

When time permits, she blogs about technology passionate about sharing her expertise and experience with the community to build successful and innovative products.

Tania holds a Masters degree in Engineering Management from University of Wollongong, and a Bachelors in Computer Science.

Moderated by:

Danielle Gifford, Senior Manager at AltaML Applied AI Lab and Calgary City Lead, Women in AI Canada

Since the beginning of her career, Danielle has worked in and with start-ups focusing in deep science and technology from pre-seed to Series A. Having experienced both an acquisition and a failure has taught her how to be gritty, take calculated risks, move fast, and fail forward. Today, she leads the Applied AI Lab, a $8.25M industry-led initiative that bridges the gap between academic and applied AI with partners including Suncor, ATB Financial, Spartan Controls, and TransAlta. She has experience leading global and technical teams from business problem ideation to leveraging AI across energy, operations, and financial services to create organizational value through applied AI. Danielle holds a dual degree in Psychology and Business, an MBA, and executive certificates from MIT.

For more updated information, visit the Women in AI Canada LinkedIn page. Link to the event will be shared a day in advance of the event.

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